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Governors    EN


Samsun was ruled by the governor of the Sıvas province till 1847. However, in 1847, Samsun was subjected to Trabzon and became one of its four districts[1]. The Samsun district (Sanjak), with a coastal length of about 60 miles and an inland depth of about 20 miles, was in itself divided into four sub-districts (or lieutenancies). The Canik district was named as Samsun, from the town on the coast line. The rest of the Canik sub-districts in 1868 were Kavak, Charshamba, Unye and Bafra. There were also other sub-districts ruled by the main districts, such as Thermae ruled by Charshamba, Fatsa, Niksar, Bolemah, Kara-Koosh ruled by Unye and Alacam ruled by Bafra. According to the Ottoman Provincial Annuals, the Samsun district, administered by the province of Trabzon, consisted in 1869 of several sub-districts like Unye, Charshamba and Bafra. The records of the Ottoman annuals start to list the governors systematically from 1869 onwards[3]. It is, therefore, possible to look at the expansions of the Samsun district through the list of the subjected towns. For instance, in 1870 the town of Niksar was also tied to the district of Samsun[4]. In 1879, Fatsa and Therme are the newly sybjected towns recorded in the provincial ammuals[5].

However, the task of identifying the governors of the subjected sub-districts preceding 1869 has not been possible; the archival sources which would reveal this evidence have not been located yet. One occurence in the region helps us identify one of the governors of Samsun around 1840. When the Prince de Joinville touched at Samsun, on his way to Trabzon, the governor Abdullah Bey did not come from Charshamba to greet him, and no notice was taken of the Royal Highness’s arrival. However on his Royal Highness’s return from Trabzon, the governor of Samsun, having been warned beforehand, saluted the prince with 21 gunfires[6]. According to archival sources, one governor of Samsun in 1856 is identified as Ramiz Pasha[7]. Nevertheless, the district of Samsun (Canik) was taken away from jurisdiction of the province of Sıvas and was administratively tied to the province of Trabzon in 1847-1848[8]. Hazinederzade Osman Pasha, his brother Memish Bey and his second brother Abdullah Pasha were the sons of Hazinedarzade Suleyman Pasha (the Treasure holder), the governor of Trabzon who ruled the Samsun district, when it was still within the jurisdiciton of Sıvas province between the years of 1822 and 1835[9].

The power of the governors of Samsun was represented with an official house. However, these houses changed completely as time went by. At the beginning, a small konak (big house with two storeys) was regarded as being sufficient to deal with the state matters of the small towns of Samsun. According to news reports, dating in 1866, the governors’ house was located at the city center by the shore, next to the Hancherli (With dagger) Mosque. However, around 1866, its location shifted to one hour’s walking distance towards another mosque, which was erected on the Mert River bay shore. The inspectors of the state concluded that this shifting was not a wise decision and that the new governors’ house should have been built next to the quarantine house on the port[10]. The maritime development and the reconstruction of the city after 1869 created a fruitful competition with the European merchants and their buildings, and the city centre flourished with the erection of consulate buildings along with that of the tobacco factory. The result of the commercial competition is reflected, on a large scale, in the construction of a new state governors’ house, completed in about 1890[11].

Among these governors, Hasan Pasha witnessed the rebuilding of the city with an appropriate plan in 1870[12]. In 1884, Mehmet Reshith Pasha was very keen to regard the tobacco factory as a privilege of the city[13]. Hamdi Bey was also eager to shape the Samsun’s urban structure, while having the role of being a pioneer in the Muslim girls’ education, by allowing the opening of a Public School for Girls in Samsun, as well as in Bafra, in 1898[14].

The Samsun district, subjected under the command of the provincial governors of the Trabzon, has been ruled by the following governors[15]:

Governors of the Canik (Samsun) district.

Years of governance

Hasan Hüsnü Pasha


Hasan Pasha


Hüseyin Pasha


Hakkı Pasha


Mehmet Reshith Pasha


Osman Pasha


Cavit Pasha


Mustafa Nuri Pasha


Hamdi Bey


Ahmet Bey


Halil Hamdi Beyefendi



[1] Devlet Salnamesi (Hijra 1263), 1847, p.86.

[2] Musa Şaşamaz, Trade Reports of the Trebizond Province on British Documents (1830-1914), Vol.I, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara 2014, p.330.

[3] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Annual of Trabzon Province), 1869, Volume. 1, p.103-107.

[4] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Annual of Trabzon Province), 1870, Volume. 2, p.109-115.

[5] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Annual of Trabzon Province), 1879, Volume. 11., p.165-177.

[6] Musa Şaşamaz, Trade Reports of the Trebizond Province on British Documents (1830-1914), Vol.I, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara 2014, p.84.

[7] Mehmet Emin Yolalıcı, XIX. Yüzyılda Canik (Samsun) Sancağı’nın Sosyal ve Ekonomik Yapısı, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara 1998, p.19.

[8] Devlet Salnamesi (Hijra 1263), 1847, p.86.

[9] Mehmet Beshirli, “Trabzon Valisi Hazinedarzade Osman Pasha ve Zamanı (1827-1842)”, Karadeniz Tarihi Sempozyumu, Trabzon 2007, p.403.

[10] Ruzname-i Ceride-i Havadis, 21 Shaban 1282, Issue. 320, p.1.

[11] Vital Cuinet, La Turquie D’Asie, Parice 1890, p.103-105.

[12] Mehmet Yavuz Erler, ”Karadeniz’de Avrupai Bir Kent: Samsun (1865-1875)”, Karadeniz Tarihi Sempozyumu, Trabzon 2007, p.553.

[13] Mehmet Yavuz Erler&Kerim Edinsel, “Samsun’da Tütün Üretimi (1788-1919)”, The Journal of International Social Research (Uluslar arası Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi), Volume 4, Issue: 18 , Summer 2011, s. 230-247.

[14] Mehmet Yavuz ERLER, “Sicil-i Umumi Defterlerine Göre Samsun Merkez İnas Mektebi (1898-1926)”, Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, Issue:12/1, Samsun May 1999, p.84.

[15] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi (Annual of Trabzon Province), 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1879, 1881, 1888, 1892, 1894, 1898, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904.